In 2010, total Florida traffic fatalities were down from previous years, but the percentage of fatal accidents occurring at intersections rose to 31 percent, an 8.4 percent increase from 2009. In 2010, 829 people died in Florida intersection car accidents, with running red lights the leading cause in urban settings. T-bone or right-angle side impact crashes are among the most lethal of all collision types, causing more than 9,000 deaths every year. They are second only to head-ons in the percentage of fatalities that result.
Behaviors that Cause Intersection Accidents
Here are some common causes of Florida intersection car accidents:
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Failing to come to a full stop at a red light before making a right turn
- Making a right turn at a red light when a sign prohibits right turns
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
Preventing Intersection Accidents
Two solutions that are being tried to reduce the incidence of these dangerous intersection accidents in Florida are building more roundabouts and installing red-light cameras to record activity at intersections and catch the red-light-runners in the act.
Some traffic safety experts believe that roundabouts may reduce Florida car accidents because vehicles must move more slowly through the intersection. Some people become confused in roundabouts, and they can be anxiety-provoking for drivers unaccustomed to them, but traffic officials say they are not only safer than a four-way stop, they are also more efficient than a four-way stop that utilizes traffic lights or stop signs.
T-bones are not possible in roundabouts because drivers are only turning in one direction—right—and are traveling at a slower speed. Roundabouts also force drivers to focus their attention on the road so as not to miss the point of exit to leave the roundabout.
Recently, a number of Florida cities and counties have installed red-light cameras in the hope of reducing the number of intersection crashes caused by drivers who run red lights. The cameras have been in use in many locations around Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.
Red-light cameras take still images and video of the license plates of drivers who run red lights. Warning signs alert drivers that the cameras are in use. Research indicates that when drivers know they will be seen if they run a red light, they are less likely to do so. However, research also shows that the number of rear-end crashes increases with the cameras in place, as drivers slam on the brakes suddenly to avoid going through a changing light. Rear-end car accidents are less likely to result in fatalities than side-impact crashes, but can still have serious consequences.
Some people question the constitutional legality of red-light cameras, because the citation is issued to the owner of the vehicle, who may not be the one driving the offending vehicle. This shifts the burden of proof onto the accused, so instead of a presumption of innocence, there is a presumption of guilt; the car’s owner must prove that another person was driving.
Help for those Injured in Florida Car Accidents
When a driver’s failure to observe traffic laws and signs causes a crash, those who are injured are often able to recover financial compensation for their losses resulting from the accident. Florida car accident attorney Jim Dodson has more than 25 years of experience helping the injured get their lives back on track after a serious car accident.
If you have been seriously injured and have questions about making a claim, contact Jim Dodson Law at 888-207-0905. We will meet with you for free to discuss your legal claim and the compensation you may be able to receive.